Girl birds as bright as boys
WELLINGTON: Colourful plumage in birds isn’t always for boys and may have little to do with attracting a mate, a new study explains.
The study, which involved researchers from Australia, Canada and Germany, found that social factors could explain bright feathers on some birds, said Massey University scientists in New Zealand.
The findings challenge the orthodox explanation for the brighter colouring of males of some species, which was the sexual selection theory that predicted males benefited in competing to attract females.
The scientists analysed the colouration of almost 6 000 species of passerine birds, commonly known as “songbirds”, that include more than half of all bird species.
They found in areas where females had to compete for mates, or defend territory, they were brightly coloured, but when environmental pressures on females were relaxed, they lost their bright colouration. – Xinhua